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Curr Opin Microbiol. 2001 Oct;4(5):586-94.

Adaptive mutations, mutator DNA polymerases and genetic change strategies of pathogens.

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  • 1Department of Molecular Genetics, Baylor College of Medicine, One Baylor Plaza, Room S809 Mail Stop 225, Houston, TX 77030-3411, USA.


"Adaptive" or "stationary-phase" mutation is a collection of stress responses promoting mutations, some of which are advantageous. In 2000 and 2001, in Escherichia coli, adaptive gene amplification was documented, and a parallel adaptive point-mutation mechanism was linked to the error-prone DNA polymerase, DinB (pol IV). We suggest that DinB homologues may contribute to adaptive strategies of pathogens, including antigenic variation.

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